Paradise. Why is this ultimate accolade so often applied to Sarasota? Is it the balmy weather and the palm trees? The feeling of peace and relaxation as you walk along the beach at sunset? It certainly wasn’t paradise in the early days. Mosquitoes filled the air and everybody who could went north for the summer. And let’s not forget that for half its history Sarasota was rigidly segregated. But in our honey-colored memories it will always be a special place of powdery sand, a game of golf, and the promise of more to come tomorrow…

In This Feature:

Listen to These Historical Recordings

Some sounds from our history.


Life Wasn't Easy for Sarasota's Early Pioneers

But tourists came here from almost the very beginning.

12/28/2016 Edited by Kay Kipling and Bob Plunket

We Were Always Working and Building

We're more than just a pretty beach town.


The Circus Made Us Famous

The circus' Winter Headquarters was the largest attraction in the state in the '30s and '40s.


We've Always Been Driven by the Arts

Sarasota's talent and appreciation for the arts is in its DNA.


Sarasota's Famous Faces

It seems like the whole world shows up sooner or later.


We're Still Living in Paradise

Even 100 years later.